What is the Best Baby Bouncer? My Top 3 Picks
Ah the baby bouncer… some parents can’t live without them. Speaking as a parent of a baby who suffered from reflux that had to be medicated right through to the age of 15 months, a baby bouncer can be a great place to sit your baby after a feed so that they are not flat on their back and gargling on vomit. What is the best baby bouncer for a baby with reflux? What is the best baby bouncer for a newborn baby to nap in? What is the best baby bouncer for entertaining your older baby? I’m hoping to answer these questions with all three of my top picks of baby bouncer. These were the three key features that I cared about the most when looking for a bouncer, so I’m basing this post on my experience of various seats I’ve tried – my opinion is based on baby bouncers that I’ve either used for my son, or my mummy friends own them and I’ve seen in action or made use of whilst visiting them.
What is the best baby bouncer for a reflux baby?
When looking for a baby bouncer for a reflux baby, you need to look for a bouncer that has an adjustable recline. As I said before, the benefit of sitting your baby in a bouncer after a feed, rather than lying them down in their moses basket or crib, is that the bouncer will keep the baby in a semi recumbent position rather than flat on their back. When suffering from reflux, one of the best prevention methods to avoid regurgitation, is to keep the baby upright for as long as possible after a feed. We all know that might not mean that you can simply keep holding them upright for an hour or more – if you have other children to look after then you certainly won’t have the luxury of snuggling on the sofa with your newborn lying upright on your chest all day!
What is the best baby bouncer for a newborn baby to nap in?
This is a controversial point since there are many studies that show you should not allow a newborn to nap in a bouncer or swing chair, for exactly the same reason you shouldn’t allow your child to nap in a car seat. The reason behind this thinking, is that when sleeping in a slightly upright position, your baby’s airway is not fully opened, and therefore they are more at risk of suffocation. Also, there is the added risk of strangulation from any straps used to hold your baby into the seat. So please, please, please, do not allow your baby to sleep in a baby bouncer seat whilst they are unsupervised, or for longer than the recommended 2 hours.
When choosing a bouncer with the intention of using it for naps, you firstly need to check that the bouncer you are considering is suitable for use from birth, and secondly that it reclines sufficiently to allow your baby to lie as flat as possible to ensure the safest sleeping position possible.
What is the best baby bouncer for entertaining your older baby?
Bouncers can have an incredibly long life span if you just pick the right one. As your baby hits around 4 months old, they won’t be contented with just sitting and watching the world go by any more, they will be looking for some form of entertainment. Around this age, infants are trying to master their hand-eye coordination by reaching and grasping for objects that look interesting to them.
A select few baby bouncers can also be used as toddler seats, meaning you prolong the use of them even further, and this can really help to make you feel like you are getting value for money.
My top 3 picks
Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Infant to Toddler Rocker (RRP £60.00)
This bouncer is one of my favourites as it’s at the lower end of the baby bouncer pricing spectrum, but packs a whole load of features for the price tag. The recline of the bouncer adjusts to suit from newborn through to toddlers and can be set to be in a stable position using the attached kickstand, or can be used without the kickstand to offer the rocking movement. It also features a gentle vibrating motor which can be used separately or in addition to the rocking motion, both of which can be soothing to newborns and especially reflux babies.
As your baby grows older, there is an entertainment bar which attaches to over overhead grab and rattle toys. Further to that, the seat also converts to a toddler rocking chair and can accommodate your child until he or she weighs 18kg (which is 3-4 years of age on average), which is much more than most baby bouncers.
One weakness of this bouncer is that because it is quite lightweight and only uses a 3 point waist harness, it can mean that an older baby may be able to lean forward enough to tip the seat over. Another reason why you should only use baby bouncers whilst your child is supervised, in my opinion it’s just common sense.
Nuna Leaf Rocker (RRP £160.00)
For those looking for something more stylish to tie in with their adult home decor, the Nuna Leaf is certainly one of the best options. The chair features a swaying side-to-side rocking motion rather than the more traditional bouncing motion of most baby seats. The beauty of the Nuna Leaf is that it doesn’t need any batteries, just one push from your hand will set it swaying for a few minutes at a time. The seat can handle weights up to 60kg, which is actually the weight of a small adult!
A couple of downsides, the toy bar comes at an additional cost. Yes, even on top of the hefty £160 price tag, you’re still expected to fork out an extra £20 to entertain your slightly older baby! The seat also doesn’t have an adjustable recline, so whilst it’s great for newborns, your older baby may spend a lot of their time toning their abs as they try to sit up and get out of the seat. It’s also not as easy to take away with you on trips away, since it’s quite a hefty piece of equipment, however this does mean that it’s nice and sturdy even for the older child.
Buy from: John Lewis
Fisher Price 3-in-1 Swing-n-Rocker (RRP £129.99)
Much higher up in the Fisher-Price range is this little beauty. You basically end up with the Fisher-Price Infant to Toddler Rocker, plus a baby swing, all in one. As you can see in the picture, the seat and rocker can be detached from the swing and motor, so it can be used as a separate rocking chair right up to 18kg of toddlerdom. The motor unit also plays soothing lullabies and nature noises, so it basically becomes a white noise machine too.
The great thing about swings is that most babies find the motion soothing, and much more so than a rocking or bouncing chair. However that obviously comes at a much higher price tag. You need to weigh up whether it’s really worth the extra cost for you and your baby. One extra benefit of the 3-in-1 Swing-n-Rocker over the Infant to Toddler Rocker, is that the 3-in-1 comes with a 5 point restraint harness, so is safer all round.
There really is a huge range of baby seats and bouncers, and they range from around £20 all the way up to £200 depending on the brand and the added features. I suggest the best thing to do when choosing your chair is to figure out your budget, and then to think about how you might use the chair. If you’re looking for entertainment rather than a napping station, then you will want to make sure you look for something fun to capture your little one’s attention. You may end up with a child that won’t sleep in a chair, so it could be worth borrowing one from a friend before you make an expensive purchase. I would say that a chair of some kind is definitely something to add to your essentials list, it could help to save your sanity when you can actually put your baby down for 5 minutes!
I hope that you’ve found this post useful, please share with your friends and family if so. I would love to hear any recommendations of other baby chairs and bouncers in the comments below, in particular from any mummies who couldn’t live without it whilst raising a reflux baby.